World Premiere February 2024
World premiere on the Berlinale film festival February 2024
Genre: Hybrid feature film
Directed by: Birgitte Stærmose
Production Company: Magic Hour Films (DK) in co-production with Vilda Bomben Film (SE) Kabineti Sh.p.k (KO) and BUFO (FI)
With support from Danish Film Institute, Kosovo Cinematography Center, Swedish Film institute, Finnish Film Foundation, AVEK, Fritt Ord Foundation.
Production Country: Kosova
Burning buildings in a dense fog, a dead horse on a dusty road, people fleeing through harsh mountain landscapes. Afterwar opens with images from war-torn Kosovo, 1999, as a dark chapter in the history of modern Europe draws to a close.
After the war, children sell peanuts and cigarettes on the streets of Pristina in order to survive. They speak to us: ‘There’s only one reason I’m talking to you. It is my hunger! I’m so hungry, I could eat your money!’ In a cinematic testament co-created over 15 years, they transform into adults before our eyes. Yet the child still stares back at us from behind the adult gaze, as the struggle to survive becomes a struggle for a future at all. They confront us with their innermost secrets and desires, while stuck in limbo and haunted by their past.
Through a close artistic collaboration with the lead cast – Xhevahire, Gëzim, Shpresim, and Besnik – the film moves between raw realism, staged performance, and an existential meditation on the long-term repercussions of war. Any war, anywhere.